|With total export value of over US$13 billion in the first six months, Vietnam becomes the world’s second largest textile and garment exporter
Despite the negative impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has successfully beaten Bangladesh to become the world’s second largest textile and garment exporter, behind only China.
According to the Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau, the South Asian nation raked in US$11.92 billion from exporting ready-made garment products over the first half of the year, while the Vietnam figure was about US$13.18 billion.
Despite Vietnamese textile and garment exports enduring a drop of 12.1% in the seven-month period, the country still earned a total of US$16.2 billion.
In response to these figures, Bangladeshi garment exporters explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to lag behind their Vietnamese rivals.
Mohammad Hatem, vice president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said Bangladesh’s textile and garment industry plummeted throughout March to May, as production activities and supply chains were interrupted by the COVID-19.
"Meanwhile, Vietnam’s production activities were not much affected because the country has controlled the spread of the virus”, Hatem added.
Most notably, Bangladeshi textile and garment exports fell by 20.14% to US$2.25 billion in March, before suffering a further 85.25% drop to US$375 million in April. Indeed, these declines mark the most significant decreases in the history of exports from the South Asian nation.
Moving into May, Bangladeshi export earnings witnessed an improvement, reaching US$1.23 billion, but marking a 62% decline from the start of the year. Following this, June saw their textile and garment exports show signs of recovery, reaching US$2.24 billion.
The January-June period has seen Vietnamese firms not suspend production, something that has occurred in both China and Bangladesh. As a result, the market share of local textile and garments being shipped to the United States and the EU has increased.
A representative from the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association said that in comparison to the overall falls of the textile and garment industry worldwide, Vietnam only recorded a small decline of between 12% and 14%. Simultaneously, Bangladesh and India’s exports were hit by a drop of 23% during the first six months of the year.
Despite this, the Vietnamese textile and garment industry still faces an array of challenges as the COVID-19 is still significantly affecting global exports.